Monday, April 22, 2024

“We’ve made a big step” – Arteta reacts to draw at City

Mikel Arteta was pleased with Arsenal’s defensive discipline at the Etihad but admits his side could have been better on the ball as they claimed a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Manchester City. 

While the Gunners periodically created half chances – substitute Leandro Trossard with the best of them in the latter stages of the second half – in truth, they found it tough maintaining attacking momentum on an afternoon when the hosts consistently pinned them back. 

At the back, William Saliba – given the man of the match award – and Gabriel Magalhaes were imperious minimising the threat of Erling Haaland while the midfield ran their legs off ensuring City couldn’t supply the Norwegian with quality ball. 

“If you don’t win, you’re never happy but I think we’ve made a big step,” Arteta told Sky Sports. 

“We have experienced what happened here last year [a 4-1 defeat] and we’ve come across in a very different way. 

“We’ve played a lot of parts of the game in an exceptional way and other parts where we can still have the feeling that we can be much better, especially in that first phase of the build-up when we didn’t have enough composure and patience to play more. After we created some big, big, big situations to have the chance to win the game.”

On what elements of his players’ performance he felt were exceptional, he continued: The commitment of the players and the discipline they have in all the defensive parts. 

“When we were really high up the pitch and trying to win the ball, we won the ball a lot. And then, when they break that press, they had to track back and sit deep and when they [City] moved their structure we had to be really patient, not rush and defend the box really well.

“I think it’s 2021 the last time they didn’t score [at home], so that’s three years, that shows the difficulty of it [what we achieved]. 

“You have to have those [streetwise] performances, especially without the ball, to get something out of the game here. With the ball, we lacked some composure, especially in the moment we had it.”

While today’s result, coupled with Liverpool’s win over Brighton, means Arsenal fall to second in the table, Arteta made clear he wants to accentuate the positives.

“It’s a big stride as a team to come to these big places,” he added. “Not a lot of teams have done what we’ve done today, especially when there’s a lot at stake and the pressure elevates and you have to respond. It’s another step. 

“Nothing changes [in the title race], we wanted to win, we know the Liverpool result but we have to carry on. There’s still a lot to play for.”

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Me2

Man City had scored in their previous 47 home games and their last 0-0 draw was in March 2022 away to Palace. I think this was an excellent result for Arsenal and its a massive step for us.
I just don’t understand the brainless punditry of people like Gael Clichy…

John

Not one away team managed to win this weekend straight after the international break. There is a reason for that; the quick turnaround, the lack of squad preparation time and the travel fatigue. We had the hardest away fixture of them all and we didn’t lose it. In the circumstances, this was a very good point.

Like White and Rice

This is a really interesting point, thank you for pointing this out!

djourou's nutmeg

wenger left us with a big issue at the back, and not even unai was able to solve it. our defense was an absolute disgrace before arteta. a million errors and confidence issues every game. now we have arguably the best defense in the league, and probably the best defensive pair in europe. and we’re only half way through the project. hats off to the manager!

Big Willy Saliba

Chapeau – indeed!

justsaying

strange that you don’t mention that AW left the club in the financial position to back and invest heavily for Arteta
it’s good enough to praise and celebrate the good work of someone without the need to stick a knife into another who has devoted more than 2 decades of his life to this club

djourou's nutmeg

the comment was about our defense’s progress, not about wenger. there’s no knife in anyone’s back. we used to play like shit and now we don’t. if you can’t see it you’re delusional

Kanishk Upreti

And we have Timber coming back soon 🥵

Glenn Helder Trio

Loved that, great point and we could quite easily have nicked it. That City team are incredible so to take 4 points off them and Liverpool is quite something. That type of performance is what we’re going to need against Bayern as well. The players we had coming off the bench today was amazing, Trossard, Tomi, Party, Gabriel M, such quality. If we can keep the group fit we’ve got a great shot of winning something this year.

I Like Eboue-boue

We saw glimpses of prime-Partey today – in particular some of those clever vertical passes. Looking forward to seeing his influence in the upcoming games.

Bleeding gums Murphy

I would start him Wednesday against Luton. Could be massive for us in this run in

Johnny 4 Hats

One small step for a man.

One giant leap for Karl Hein.

Chris

Let’s see how they respond. We riled them today and it was magnificent. Also, this is a blueprint for other teams against them home and away. Granted they don’t have our defense, but city won’t throw the kitchen sink at other teams the way they tried today. This could be more significant than we think. We’ve performed fine against the top sides this season. The sham of a refereeing performance at Villa Park and St. James’ Park cost us. But we just have to focus on ourselves and finish the best we can. Liverpool are a powder keg that try… Read more »

Daveo

Yes, that absolute bollocks at Newcastly and Villa should have us level (at least). We know we’re not going to ever get a pen on VAR review. And we know every pundit will slant everything into an anti-Arsenal narrative (I mean – slamming Arsenal for focussing on blunting City’s attack at home is a ridiculous tactic?! WTF?!)…
If we can pull this off, it would be arguably our greatest title considering Mach115ter’s “power” and the tenacity of Puddles…
COYG!!!

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